2020 NFL playoff odds, picks: Titans secure Super Bowl bid while Jimmy Garoppolo's 49ers defeat Packers
CBS NFL writer Jordan Dajani gives his picks for the AFC and NFC conference championship games
It's been quite an entertaining couple of weeks in the NFL. We are used to seeing a couple of upsets on Wild-Card Weekend, but we don't see many big upsets in the divisional round. After defeating the Patriots in New England in the wild-card round, the Titans somehow defeated the best team in the NFL in the Baltimore Ravens last Saturday. Now, Derrick Henry and Co. are just one game away from the Super Bowl.
They face off against the Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday, a team that has not lost since Week 10 of the regular season. Do you know who the last team to beat them was? Yep. The Titans. I covered that game for CBS, and I'll share my thoughts down below on what I think happens this weekend.
As for the NFC side of things, the Green Bay Packers travel out west to take on Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers. Everyone wants to count out the Packers because they didn't register any impressive regular-season wins and because the 49ers blew them out in Week 12. Is it possible we are counting out the Packers too quickly? This team did go 13-3 and Aaron Rodgers is the only quarterback left in the postseason who has won a Super Bowl.
Let's jump in to my picks this week, and let's start with the NFL's Cinderella.
Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs
Sunday, 3:05 p.m. ET (CBS), stream on CBS All Access
Point spread: Chiefs -7.5
I was 100 percent confident that the Titans were going to upset the Patriots in the wild-card round, but I regrettably fell silent when Tennessee headed to Baltimore. While the Titans' win in Foxborough was magical, I think many saw it coming with how poorly the Patriots had played this year. I have been watching the Titans closely all season, and I did not expect them to beat the Ravens -- especially by double digits.
I'm not sure what more you can say about Henry. He rushed for 182 yards and a touchdown against the Patriots and then 195 yards against the Ravens. What's even better is that Ravens safety Earl Thomas knew the Titans were going to try to replicate their game plan, feeding Henry until he couldn't run any more. Thomas poked fun at the Patriots for being uninterested in tackling Henry, but still, Henry went off on the Ravens for even more rushing yards than he put up against the Patriots, and averaged 6.5 yards per carry. Is he unstoppable? I think so. He just became the first player since 1950 to rush for over 180 yards in three consecutive games and also .
When did his hot streak exactly begin? Funny you should ask, because it was against the Chiefs in Week 10. Henry rushed for 188 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries in the 35-32 victory over Kansas City back in November, as the Chiefs had a hard time containing the man who would end up rushing for more yards than anyone in 2019. The Chiefs allowed an average of 128.2 rushing yards per game in the regular season, which ranked No. 26 in the league. If Henry can look like a Hall of Famer against two of the best defenses in the NFL two weeks in a row, he should be in line for another huge game this Sunday. If Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones , Kansas City would definitely be in trouble.
On the flip side, while people may want to tab the Titans as the hottest team in the league, in reality it's the Chiefs. They have won more games in a row, and when things got hairy in the divisional round against the Houston Texans, they didn't flinch. Mahomes and Co. were down 24-0 in the second quarter, but battled back and acquired a 28-24 halftime lead. If we learned anything from the Chiefs' 51-31 win last weekend, it's that they have the most explosive offense in the league. Everyone wants to talk about Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, but how about running back Damien Williams? He had two rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown last week, which made him just the fourth player since 1950 to have two career postseason games with three or more touchdowns.
The Chiefs are probably the best team on paper remaining in the postseason, but unfortunately they are running into a team of destiny in the conference championship. If the Titans can beat the Patriots and Ravens on the road, I have no reason to believe they are going to fall to the Chiefs with just one game until the Super Bowl. I'm picking the Titans to make it to the Super Bowl for the first time in 20 years -- it's clear they have the favor of the football gods.
The pick: Titans 31-28 over Chiefs
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Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers
Sunday, 6:40 p.m. ET (Fox), stream on fuboTV (Try for free)
Point spread: 49ers -7.5
The Packers did enough to earn a first-round bye in the regular season, but it's hard to forget about their 37-8 loss to the 49ers in Week 12. It's something that 49ers fans can point back to that gives them confidence heading into this weekend, but Packers head coach Matt LaFleur George Kittle, who caught six passes for 129 yards and a touchdown. On the flip side, the 49ers defense was dominant, holding the Packers to 1 of 15 on third downs while also sacking Rodgers a total of five times.. The 49ers racked up 339 total yards of offense in that game while the Packers recorded just 198 yards. Green Bay's secondary struggled to contain tight end
While the Packers' 28-23 victory over the Seattle Seahawks last week didn't exactly get fans excited since Green Bay was outscored 20-7 in the second half, I think there was some good we can take away from the win. Rodgers looked great while throwing for 243 yards and two touchdowns, Aaron Jones was effective on the ground with 62 yards and two touchdowns, and star wideout Davante Adams was unstoppable -- reeling in eight catches for 160 yards and two scores. On the defensive side of the ball, Za'Darius Smith and Preston Smith combined for four sacks and the Packers did a decent job trying to contain Russell Wilson on the ground.
This will be the first time Garoppolo and the 49ers are tested in the postseason, since the Minnesota Vikings didn't exactly give them much of a game. Still, it's hard not to love this defense. Nick Bosa, DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead make up what I think is the best defensive line in the NFL, and Richard Sherman has been great in leading this secondary as well. Even though Garoppolo is inexperienced in the postseason, he has great talent around him on offense and a great defense to back him up. He has to feel confident with the supporting cast he has.
I imagine that this game will be much closer than people anticipate, but that the 49ers end up winning in the fourth quarter. I think I'm going to put my money on Packers +7.5, however.
The pick: 49ers 27-21 over Packers
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